Our objective is to link you to as many reputable Energy Services Companies (ESCos) as possible. The final choice is of course yours.

The ESCos appearing on this website have been independently screened to determine their ability to perform full or partial ESCo work in Cape Town. Their references have been checked to confirm that projects referenced have been implemented and completed. ESCos whose project references were not implemented or completed are not included on this site. We highly recommend you perform you own due diligence in selecting an ESCo. The organisers of this site take no responsibility for any ESCo you may contract from this site.

Please see How do I choose an ESCo for some guidance. None of the companies are paying to be represented on this site, and it is open to any credible ESCo working in the Cape Town area.

All ESCos on this site are listed alphabetically and each provides detailed information on the size of projects they typically handle, references, finance options and experience. 



What is an ESCo?

An Energy Service Company or Energy Savings Company (ESCo) provides a range of comprehensive energy services including audits, designs and implementation of energy savings projects, retrofitting, energy conservation, energy infrastructure outsourcing, power generation and energy supply, financing options and risk management.


Some  ESCos enter into performance-based contracting with a client in which their income is linked to the amount of savings achieved in a project.


According to the globally accepted definition, an Energy Service Company (ESCo) is a business that offers end to end energy management services which could include scoping, designing and implementing energy efficiency and/or embedded generation projects.


In most cases, an ESCo can be defined based on three characteristics:

  • ESCOs guarantee energy savings and/or provision of the same level of energy service at a lower cost to their customer.
  • ESCOs can finance, or assist in arranging financing for the operation of an energy system by providing a savings guarantee.
  • The remuneration of ESCOs is directly tied to the energy savings achieved (ESCos accept some degree of risk for the achievement of improved energy efficiency)


South African ESCos refer to any company that is involved with energy efficiency. There are generally two types in South Africa:

  • “Pure” ESCos that deliver an end to end energy management solution to the client, including funding (Which aligns to the global definition)
  • ESCos that offer only some of the services that ESCos can offer (eg. equipment, finance, project management)


Please note that a few of the ESCos on this website are focused on only one category of technology, eg. lighting.


How can an ESCo help me?

ESCos can provide the following services that will help reduce your building’s energy consumption:

  • Preliminary energy use analysis and audits to provide an overview of what savings are possible in your building
  • Investment grade energy audits to firm up energy use figures and expected savings from interventions
  • Project design:
    • Identifying energy efficient technologies that will be financially viable to implement
    • Developing engineering designs and specifications
  • Implementation:
    • Providing and installing specific energy efficient technologies (typically building energy and electrical load management systems, efficient space heating and cooling [HVAC] equipment, efficient lighting, efficient water heating systems).
    • Setting up a financing mechanism
  • Maintaining and operating equipment or providing staff training to enable in-house maintenance and operation 
  • Providing measurement and evaluation of savings to show benefits of the interventions implemented 


How does an ESCo work?

An initial meeting enables the ESCo to understand the client’s objectives. The ESCo will then perform an in-depth analysis of the building (an energy audit) to determine the type and amount of savings to be expected and the cost of such interventions. The ESCo will design a solution and, if acceptable, will install the required energy saving elements and maintain the system to ensure energy savings. If appropriate, the ESCo can also assist with financing options.


The typical steps of an ESCo energy efficiency retrofit contract:

  • Initial meeting: To understand your building’s operations and your objectives.
  • Preliminary audit: May involve an initial site inspection of your building.
  • Site inspection meeting: The ESCo will then schedule a site inspection meeting to present their results and propose a financing mechanism for the project.
  • Investment grade energy efficiency audit: A detailed examination of equipment and systems at the site, measurement of electrical loads, and assessment of facility energy needs. The audit analysis will identify an upgrade strategy including the costs and benefits of the project. For leased buildings, all parties will need to consider the tenant/landlord relationship and how investment costs and ROI are calculated.
  • Implementation: You and the ESCo will need to agree on the project financing terms and sign an agreement. The ESCo will manage the project implementation and may undertake installation of equipment and related systems itself, or may subcontract out this work.
  • Training: The ESCo will provide any necessary training on the new systems to your building’s operations and maintenance staff.
  • Post implementation review: After your building’s upgrade, a review will ensure that the building’s mechanical systems are operating as intended and will be maintained on an on-going basis.
  • Measurement and Verification (M&V): M&V needs to be stipulated in the ESCos contract but is not necessarily the responsibility of the ESCo.



When to use an ESCo?


Consult an Energy Services Company (ESCo) when:

  • You or your project developer don’t have energy management experience
  • You want to make significant energy changes to your building and you need expert guidance



How do I choose an ESCo?

A good ESCo will provide a comprehensive service that will include identifying and evaluating energy-saving opportunities, developing engineering designs and specifications, managing the project from design to installation to monitoring, making finance arrangements, training staff and providing maintenance services. They will also guarantee that savings will cover all project costs. 


Ensure that your ESCo has:

  • Relevant qualifications (most importantly engineering and energy management)
  • Recent experience with different technologies, offering a range of products
  • Can provide you with a range of product options rather than just one product
  • Recent, contactable references
  • Are not a supplier of only one product or product type
  • Can perform an energy audit
  • Provide installation of new technology and disposal of old technology
  • Offer maintenance of the equipment installed


Ask the references:

  • Did the ESCo consider multiple technology options?
  • Was everything done timeously and responsibly?
  • Were quality checks done before and after?

Ask them for a Request for Proposal (RFP) which is a detailed explanation of the proposed project. This document contains all cost savings measures, products, M&V plans, and the performance contract.

Be clear on your expectations when approaching ESCos, contractors and anyone else involved. State that you are looking for an energy efficiency solution with a simple payback of xx years or an ROI of yy%. An experienced ESCo/contractor will be able to advise you if this is realistic.

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